If you don’t remember what happened last night, follow these steps
You woke up and no matter how hard you try, you can’t remember what happened last night, but your clothes aren’t in place or you can see signs of sexual intercourse on your body, but you’re not sure how it happened.
Whether you are a man or a woman, and whatever your sexual orientation, you may have suffered a poisoning that prevents you from remembering. Whether it’s from drinking alcohol, using drugs, or even if you didn’t realize something was added to your drink, the important thing is that you know how to act in a situation like this.
Are things by their name
In our culture, previously giving someone a drink in order to have sex with him or her was simply considered “a trick” to achieve that goal. Today we know that this way of acting is an abuse, since an alcoholic (or drugged) person is not in full use of their faculties to give their consent to a sexual activity.
If you find yourself in this situation, remember that it is not right that someone else has taken advantage of your status, but above all, keep in mind that it is not your fault. Even if you voluntarily overdrank or used drugs, that doesn’t mean that others can take advantage of the situation without taking responsibility for it.
In case you think you may have had sex and you don’t remember it, you can take actions to preserve your mental, but also physical health. There are several drug schemes to prevent the transmission of sexual infections and that can be used after risky contact.
In addition, for heterosexual relationships there is emergency contraception, which within 3 to 5 days after sexual intercourse helps prevent an unwanted pregnancy. However, remember that the more time passes between the sexual act and taking the pill, its effectiveness decreases significantly.
Protect yourself from HIV
If you feel shocked by what could have happened to you, a good option is the psychological support telephone lines. Many countries have these kinds of services, run by universities or by governments, where mental health professionals can chat with you about a crisis situation, to guide you and give you therapeutic support.
If these services do not exist where you live, go directly to seek medical attention. If applicable, request emergency contraception. If you consider it necessary, request a physical examination to attend to or rule out possible injuries (in case you later want to file a complaint, this medical examination will be important).
Fortunately, several of the Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), including HIV, can be prevented through treatments that are given after a risky contact.
HIV post-exposure prophylaxis (known as PEP) consists of a one-month treatment that prevents the infection from settling in the body, and it is important to start it as soon as possible. On the other hand, various STIs caused by bacteria can be prevented with specific antibiotic treatment.
Better late than never
If you did not go to medical services within hours of the incident, you also have options. Get screened for all possible STIs, so you know if you have any and can give you the necessary treatment. Also take a pregnancy test, if applicable.
On the other hand, do not neglect your mental health. Seek psychological therapy to help you process what happened, which may have taken you some time to digest. Similarly, if you think you may have problems with your drinking or drug use, psychological support will help you improve in this regard.
Remember that at AHF Latin America and the Caribbean we do free HIV detection tests. We also have free condoms and other sexual health services, come to our offices and get to know us.